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by Harley Dartt
All the great composers of music are not dead European men in powdered wigs.
The NewMusic Festival at East Carolina University School of Music celebrates ten years of bringing the music of our time to eastern North Carolina with an eclectic line-up of contemporary composers and musicians this February 22–28. This year's festival features six concerts, master classes with visiting composers and performers, reading sessions of student composers' works, and includes performance of new works for piano and clarinet, wind quintet, marimba and percussion, symphony and voice.
Since the first festival in 2001, the NewMusic@ECUFestival has presented over 300 compositions that have never been heard in this region, including 61 world-premiere performances. Audience members have attended each of more than fifty concert/recitals. Performers have come from as close as the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, to as far away as the University of California at Davis, Boston, New York City, Chicago, St. Louis, Florida, and Germany.
This year, the Grammy-nominated Imani Winds wind quintet performs on February 25, showcasing their dynamic playing, culturally poignant programming and genre-blurring collaborations. With two member composers and a deep commitment to commissioning new work, the group is enriching the traditional wind quintet repertoire while meaningfully bridging European, American, African and Latin American traditions.
This story appeared originally in the Jan. 29, 2010 issue of Pieces of Eight. An archived version of that issue is available at http://www.ecu.edu/news/cs-admin/poe/2010/110/January-2010-Archives.cfm.